The news was shocking: A 15-year-old Florida girl allegedly had sex with multiple partners in a high school bathroom earlier this month, sparking an investigation by police and hundreds of news stories.
But advocates for the girl have come forward with a troubling explanation – that the girl had previously been a victim of human trafficking.
As news of the incident became international news, the girl’s mother contacted NBC 2 to share the girl’s alleged tragic history.
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According to the mother, the girl had run away from home when she was 13 and was held captive for nearly 2 years. The mother rescued her daughter with help from Megan Estrem, the founder of Be the Light, an advocacy group for victims of sex slavery.
After her rescue, the girl has been placed in several treatment centers. She had only been a student at South Fort Myers High School for two weeks.
The Disturbing Incident
According to the girl’s mother, she had gone to the bathroom to meet up with a boy she liked. He wanted to have sex, so she complied. Then, according to Estrem, word got out and more boys showed up in the bathroom.
But although the girl had multiple partners, her family wants to make it clear that the news stories were overblown. “She did not sleep with 25 boys in the bathroom,” Estrem told the news station. “There was only a handful that she did sleep with. In this case, it was more of a spectator sport.”
The girl has been pulled from school. According to the school district, 16 other students – many of them student athletes – have been disciplined.